MidAmerica St. Louis Airport announced that passenger traffic through the airport during 2021 increased to a total of 320,000 travelers, a new annual record high for the airport. The passenger count exceeds 2019 numbers by 3.4%, which is significant considering the coronavirus pandemic continues to impact the travel industry and particularly air travel. It represents a 46% increase over the 2020 passenger traffic count, a clear indication travelers are once again comfortable taking to the skies and choosing to take advantage of the many advantages MidAmerica St. Louis Airport offers.
“Continued growth at the airport can be attributed to the airport’s affordability, convenient metro St. Louis area location, safe and secure operations, reasonably priced parking, and a strong partnership with Allegiant which serves a dozen popular destinations from MidAmerica,” said St. Clair County Chairman Mark Kern.
Destinations currently served by Allegiant from MidAmerica Airport include Charleston, Daytona Beach, Destin/Ft. Walton Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Jacksonville, Las Vegas, Orlando, Phoenix/Mesa, Ft. Myers/Punta Gorda, Sarasota/Bradenton, Savannah, and Tampa Bay/St. Pete.
“We’re thrilled to see the record passenger numbers on the heels of what has been a period of extreme challenge for the aviation industry,” said Bryan Johnson, director of MidAmerica St. Louis Airport. “The opening of the terminal expansion in late 2022 will foster additional growth with new gates, added frequency and greater capacity. We fully expect the leisure market at MidAmerica Airport will remain strong through 2022 with continued passenger growth and look forward to another new record number of travelers by year’s end.”
In other recent positive news, a new study by the Illinois Department of Transportation revealed the regional economic impact of MidAmerica St. Louis Airport, which operates as a joint-use facility with Scott Air Force Base, topped $3.1 billion in 2019, up from $2.5 billion in 2012. While passenger traffic certainly contributes to that number, construction on the airport property and the activity of airport tenants are also key factors, and in MidAmerica’s case they are factors that will contribute to additional growth in the economic impact of the airport over the next several years. The study data precedes the beginning of construction on the expansion of the terminal at MidAmerica and the new $96 million MetroLink Extension from Scott Air Force Base to MidAmerica Airport which will serve both passengers and tenants at the Airport. The study also was completed before Boeing announced it would be investing $200 million in a new manufacturing facility totaling approximately 300,000 square-foot facility at MidAmerica. Scheduled for completion in 2024, it initially will employ approximately 150 mechanics, engineers and support staff who will build the MQ-25 Stingray, the Navy’s first operational, carrier-based unmanned aircraft. Employment could reach up to 300 with additional orders.